|thinfilmmfg.com Around the Web Weblog Home Archives|
Foundries routinely report utilization near, or even exceeding, 100%, even as they dramatically expand capacity. The financial analysts like big utilization numbers, but how real are they? iSuppli asks what utilization statistics really mean.
Bill Moyers on what journalism is and why it matters. Long, but required reading for anyone who reads or writes non-fiction.
A cease and desist letter has no legal force. It's just a threat, shrouded in legalese. Anyone who can pay for an hour or two of legal fees can send one, whether their claims have any basis in reality or not. Thanks to Chilling Effects, more web site owners know that now, and know how to fight back when threatened.
Donna Wentworth at Corante has an interesting discussion of plagiarism and authorship, apropos of Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree's accidental lifting of passages from Yale law professor Jack Balkin's work.
I've consolidated a number of recent posts on software tools over in ThinFilmWiki: OrganizingTools. What are your favorite tools?
Free unsolicited advice to web designers from someone who looks for company information often. Putting technical papers on your web site is a wonderful thing. Yes, please do it! But you're wasting your time (and mine) if you don't also include the full citation for each paper. I just visited a page that lumped papers from 1998 and 2002 together, with no information except the title for any of them. The file names were the only indication that the papers were not current work.
Amazon.com has unveiled an updated version of A9.com, its entry in the escalating search engine war. Among other useful features, A9 will display image and book results along with web results. If you register, it lets you keep an annotated browsing history.
Much too soon to see if it will displace Google, but definitely worth a look.
Gartner Group is predicting massive consolidation among semiconductor manufacturers, with as many as 40% of existing manufacturers likely to disappear. They blame five key trends for this and other likely changes: increasing device integration, the increasing scale and size of manufacturing, the shift from business to consumer markets, the increasing role of service providers, and new and disruptive technologies. (Free registration required.)
The trends themselves are nothing new. I'm not sure I agree with Gartner's conclusions, though. For example, consumer markets are demanding more customization, not less. Even though software can do a lot to customize electronic devices, the fragmentation of consumer markets tends to undermine the economies of scale that Gartner claims will drive consolidation.
Design costs are climbing even faster than manufacturing costs, too, and it isn't clear that consolidation will reduce those costs.
A survey in Australia found that half of managers don't trust their employees to work away from the office, and 75% of workers believe that their telecommuting colleagues aren't working at all. (Free registration required.)
If you don't trust someone, why hire them in the first place? If you can't tell by the results whether they're working or not, do you really understand what they're supposed to be doing?
I usually like shopping on weekday afternoons. The stores aren't busy; the salespeople have time to help. It's one of the perks of being self-employed. (If you're a client or potential client, please note that I do lots of work on the weekends. It evens out.)
Today was a nightmare, though. In two different stores, it seemed like the salesperson thought, "It's really slow and I'm below my quota, so I'm going to sell this person the most expensive thing I possibly can." If you're going to bother asking me what I want, at least pretend to listen until I finish telling you, okay? In both stores, the aggressive tactics backfired. Trying to get a two or three hundred dollar sale (which was never going to happen) drove me out of the store without buying anything, thereby losing the fifty dollar sale that was possible. Harrumph.
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